Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 July 2021
This chapter addresses the expanding legislative role of the Security Council and expresses significant concerns arising from that trend. The author argues that the Security Council’s ambition to “legislate for the world” – which is manifestly evident in resolutions aimed at tackling the phenomenon of foreign fighters – may pave the way for abusive practices and human rights violations. The author’s apprehension originates from the fact that countries where democratic institutions are weak or even totally lacking often exploit the need to tackle international terrorism as a legitimate excuse to curb political opposition or any kind of view that differs from that of the regime in power. To support this claim, the cases of Belarus and of Ukraine, as far as the implementation of Security Council Resolution 2178/2014 is concerned, are taken into considerations. In these two countries, directions coming from the international level to criminalize foreign terrorist fighters and all the activities aimed at supporting them coincided in time with the most intensive phase of Crimean crisis. As a consequence, Resolution 2178/2014 was interpreted as an easy-to-take shortcut to prosecute pro-Russian forces in Crimea by labelling them as “terrorists”. Hence, universalizing counter-terrorism measures, as the Security Council has been trying to do since at least the 9/11 events, is potentially dangerous since the same provisions are directed to countries with patently different political, social and historical backgrounds, and the Security Council is not totally able to manage states’ choices once the resolution reaches the implementation stage.